A deep bench

Joanne Feldman, WAGA

Joanne Feldman, WAGA

WAGA appears to have solved its morning Road Warrior problem with perhaps the second-best solution at its disposal. Sidestepping our superior suggestion, WAGA has engaged the services of some of its utility-player talent, and deputized each of them for once-a-week yuks on Good Day Atlanta.

This puts its bench of non-primary weather and sports talent in roles outside of their normal comfort zone.  But they’ve adapted well.

The Road Warrior is an individual who visits remote locations with a camera and live microphone, and yaks it up with whomever is interesting on the scene.  Weekend weathercaster Joanne Feldman showed up at the Chattahoochee Nature Center earlier this month. A good sport, Feldman even donned bouncy antennae in honor of a planned release of butterflies.

The roster also includes Cheryl White, Buck Lanford, Jeff Hill and Karen Graham.  Hill’s dry wit is among the few good reasons to actually watch GDA.  He’s an excellent counter-balance to the high-fructose corn syrup constituting much of the rest of the show.

Karen Graham, WAGA

Karen Graham, WAGA

The best of the Road Warriors is probably Karen Graham.  Graham recently dined from chow prepared by an acclaimed chef named Dwayne Hairston.    It’s usually no fun to watch TV folks eat on-camera.  Graham, however, is engaging and down-to-earth.  And she’s not afraid to tell the chatty studio anchors to shut up.

Feldman and Graham start their work-weeks on Saturdays, doing evening shifts anchoring the 10pm news.  The 5am arrival in midweek is undoubtedly jarring.  But the work appears to be mostly undemanding and is probably a refreshing respite from weather and sports.  When WAGA extends GDA to a fourth hour in a few weeks, it’ll have a solid bench of Road Warriors behind them.

7 thoughts on “A deep bench

  1. The Road Warrior

    This doesn’t surprise me.
    I am willing to come back…I have even told Gene and Budd I am willing to work something out.
    Since I have not heard from either one of them, I am assuming MONEY has something to do with it. It may also have something to do with Budd telling me on my first day back in 1999 , “I don’t like entertainment news.”
    Hey Doug, maybe I will get a blog going, just like you did, to get back in the rat race.

  2. CB Hackworth

    Viewers don’t like change. They like stability.

    And they really, really don’t like not knowing what happened to their television “friends” who suddenly disappear.

    Brett Martin did a very credible job as the “Road Warrior” for years (I mean, seriously… who has that kind of pep and enthusiasm that early in the morning?) and WAGA promoted him by that name. News directors, et al, seem not to realize that people do actually buy into their dog-and-pony show. It’s disconcerting to suddenly see someone else being called “Road Warrior.”

    It is fine if the station wants to rotate members from the b-team into GMA as a cost cutting measure or whatever, but WAGA at least should have stopped using the “Road Warrior” brand when Martin left.

  3. Krutz

    Actually CB, I am pretty sure they did stop using the brand when Martin left. Doug is using the title but WAGA is not.

  4. mike daly

    And the “Road Warrior” name was there before Brett Martin.

    My favorite is Karen Graham, She has a keen sense of humor that makes people comfortable and she doesn’t have to try that hard. That’s just the way she is. And she’s a great at sports coverage too. I’ve worked with her on projects including running the live camera when she ran the Peachtree Road race as the “Runner Cam” personality. She’s gold.

  5. Stu G.

    I have been watching WAGA for years now and no one did the job like Brett. Sure there may have been other “Road Warriors”…but not one of them got close to the popularity and professionalism of Brett. Its funny how WAGA now has several people to fill his shoes and, quite frankly, they don’t even get close.
    Every day its a new restaurant. Please…there are more things to do here than eat food on live tv.
    Why WAGA got rid of him I don’t know…but Brett, if you are out there, we miss you buddy.
    As you can see, no one person can replace you. It takes a basketball team of people…and they still can’t get it right.


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